Minister Guilbeault concludes trip to India, including participation in G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministerial Meeting
July 28, 2023 – Gatineau, Quebec
With the world facing the triple crises of climate change, nature loss and pollution, Canada is working to build international momentum for more and faster environmental progress at global forums. The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, just concluded a productive visit to India, including stops in Delhi and Chennai, where he represented Canada at the G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministerial Meeting.
Canada came to the G20 meeting to support India’s agenda and promote having recently delivered on two important commitments. Canada is the first country in the G20 to have publicly disclosed a transparent framework and guidelines for phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which was announced earlier this week, two years ahead of schedule. Canada also recently announced a $450 million contribution to the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest dedicated climate change fund and a critical funding mechanism of the Paris Agreement. This contribution represents a 50 percent increase from Canada’s 2019 pledge to the GCF’s first replenishment and is part of Canada’s $5.3-billion climate finance commitment.
During three days of meetings in Delhi and Chennai, Canada expressed support for:
- increased climate ambitions, including at the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to keep a 1.5°C temperature rise within reach;
- the G20 taking the lead on a commitment to phase out unabated fossil fuels;
- the full and effective implementation of the landmark Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), and the successful launch of the GBF fund to support developing countries; and;
- working effectively towards the conclusion of negotiations for a new, legally binding global instrument to end plastic pollution by 2024.
Canada and India have longstanding ties and a history of cooperation on climate change and the environment. Minister Guilbeault had the opportunity to continue this important work and met with his counterpart, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, as well as with the Minister of Jal Shakti (Water), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. These meetings covered shared interests as well as aspirations for the Indo-Pacific region and reinforced the need to work together now and in the years ahead to tackle the issues of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.
Recognizing the importance of India’s next generation of climate and environmental advocates, Minister Guilbeault hosted a discussion with young Indian environmental changemakers, and was joined virtually by Michael Girum, an Environment and Climate Change Youth Council member from Alberta, Canada, who shared his perspective as a young Canadian. At the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in Chennai, Minister Guilbeault delivered a speech to faculty and students on the road from the G20 to COP28. In addition, Minister Guilbeault joined in round-table discussions with Indian business leaders and leading environmental non-governmental organizations, where he heard their perspectives on key issues that should be advanced by the G20.
Canada is thankful to India for putting forward an ambitious agenda. The outcome of this meeting shows how much work the G20 has ahead to secure an ambitious and successful COP28. Throughout the G20 ministerial meeting, Minister Guilbeault emphasized how crucial it is for all countries to recognize the need to accelerate science-based climate action this decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and praised the G20’s commitment to the full and effective implementation of the landmark Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework.
On the margins of the G20, Minister Guilbeault participated in a Canada-Japan Ministerial Dialogue on Climate and Environment with Japan’s Minister of the Environment, Akihiro Nishimura. Their discussions included shared objectives from the G7 and G20 meetings; progress on plastic pollution; action on nature and biodiversity, including implementing the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework; and common objectives leading into COP28 this November. He also met with Chris Bowen, Australian Minister of Climate Change and Energy; Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Union Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries; Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry; and John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
Minister Guilbeault also participated in a launch event by the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition, where he spoke on Canada’s commitment to resource efficiency and the circular economy, and the ongoing need to combat plastic pollution.
At the G20 meeting in Chennai, Minister Guilbeault met with his counterparts to advance global action on key climate and environmental issues. He also condemned Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine which, in addition to the devastating costs to the Ukrainian people, continues to have significant environmental and climate impacts.
“Canada and India recognize how important it is to bring the world together and to respond to global threats amplified by climate change, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution. I am grateful for the leadership from the Indian President, both in setting an ambitious G20 agenda and in working with all members to identify actionable solutions that impact the lives of Indians, Canadians and people from around the world. Working together, we can break down barriers and help foster greater global cooperation, in order to make forward progress ahead of COP28 and in the years to come.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
While in India, Minister Guilbeault also visited two national scientific institutions, the National Centre for Coastal Research and the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, to explore India’s innovations in protecting and conserving coastal biodiversity and addressing marine pollution.
The G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place in Delhi from September 9 to 10, 2023. Prior to the summit, India is hosting a series of ministerial meetings on specific topics, as is customary under every G20 Presidency.
The G20 is made up of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. The following countries were invited as guests this year: Bangladesh, Denmark, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates (the COP28 President).
Collectively, G20 members represent 80 percent of the world’s economic output, 60 percent of the global population, and three quarters of international trade.
In June 2022, Canada and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase bilateral cooperation on climate action, environmental protection, and conservation. Under the MOU, both countries agreed to collaborate, exchange information and expertise, and support ambitions in a wide range of areas, including increasing renewable energy capacity, decarbonizing heavy industries, reducing plastic pollution, supporting the sound management of chemicals, and ensuring sustainable consumption.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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